For the month of December, I’ll be shining light each day on some extraordinary women I know. They represent various fields and backgrounds, and I admire each for their passion and strength. These are bold, beautiful, brave women — artists, businesswomen, union organizers, nurses, writers, teachers, movie makers, designers, reporters, and all-around badasses.
Rebecca Weiner is a dynamic educator and advocate, passionate about the power of play and the importance of inclusion. For Rebecca, educating and empowering children, families, teachers, and communities is her chosen profession and her spiritual practice. Rebecca created her educational consulting practice, Learn Play Grow, to cultivate connection within families, communication between colleagues, and collaboration among teams of families teachers, therapists, and schools. She specializes in play-based learning for young children with diverse abilities, parent coaching for advocacy and empowerment, and school consulting for excellence and inclusion. Soulfulness and neurodiversity rock her world, and Rebecca is committed to making it a better place!
1. What did you want to be “when you grew up?” When I was growing up, I dreamt of “mothering.” I adopted 13 Cabbage Patch dolls and celebrated each of their birthdays and adoption days as well as their strengths and challenges (Sebastian had a learning disability, and Madeline had explosive behavior… I was a born educator and advocate!). As I grow up (it’s a continuous process), I’ve learned that “mothering” takes many forms, including nurturing and empowering children, families, teachers, and communities.
2. What makes you the most proud of yourself? I am most proud of my evolution. Life is my lesson, and I have learned so much!
3. What darkness have you overcome? How did you find strength? I have experienced chronic illness, anxiety, depression, the loss of a loved one to suicide. These experiences have taught me the wisdom of a broken heart, for feelings of brokenness are the birthplace of renewal. I have known seasons of despair and seasons of hope, and I don’t take either for granted. With the help of family, friends, therapists, doctors, animals, nature, art, and exercise, I have developed a self-care practice that is always evolving. I am a survivor, and I am thriving!
4. Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? My dream Saturday morning is all about curiosity and connection. I love snuggling in bed and reading about different ideas, attending Sabbath experiences including yoga and meditation, making memories with friends and family, volunteering, and more. I’m transforming my Sabbath into a time of renewing curiosity and reconnecting with those I love and with own self-care.
5. What makes you smile the most? Children make me smile! One of my students has begun saying “I can do it!” and I beam as I watch her confidence grow together with her competence. My nephew recently told me about “charlies” (his word for trolleys). I smiled and nodded in affirmation rather than correcting him. He was sharing his truth, and it was an honor to hear it!
Bonus: What advice would you give your younger self? I would coach her to cultivate curiosity, courage, and resourcefulness rather than looking for answers. I would teach her that there are many ways of being, and life is about ever becoming. I would tell her that she is inherently worthy of love and belonging as a human being not human doing.
Today’s #OneGoodThing is sharing this extraordinary woman and an inspiration for this exciting series, Rebecca Weiner, with all of you! We are stronger together, so let’s shine a light on our extraordinary sisters! If you’d like to participate or nominate a woman to participate, please send me a note or leave a comment! What was your #OneGoodThing today? Please share in the comments! Kindness is Everything.
1 year ago today: Wine and chocolate-fueled soak in the bathtub
2 years ago today: My paper heart chain
3 years ago today: Accomplishing too many errands